Record Number of Enterprises Becoming “Intelligent” with Growing IoT Investments

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Security remains a top priority as more enterprises start to scale IoT solutions company-wide.

Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, last week announced the results of its third annual “Intelligent Enterprise Index” which indicates a record 61 per cent of enterprises worldwide are on the path to becoming “intelligent,” compared to only 49 per cent in 2018.

This global survey analyses the extent to which companies connect the physical and digital worlds to drive innovation through real-time guidance, data-powered environments and collaborative mobile workflows. Their “Intelligent Enterprise” Index scores are calculated using 11 criteria that include Internet of Things (IoT) vision, adoption, data management, intelligent analysis and more.

Based on these criteria and driven by an overwhelming pressure to improve the customer experience, retail organisations have gained the most momentum in the last 12 months, graduating from the bottom of the 2018 vertical Index rankings to nearly the top of the 2019 list, second only to Healthcare.

The number of companies defined as truly “intelligent enterprises” by achieving a score of 75 points or greater on the Index has also risen year over year. Seventeen percent of organisations with at least 250 employees crossed this threshold in 2019 versus only 11 per cent in 2018. Interestingly, 37 per cent of surveyed small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with 50-249 employees scored 75 points or greater on the Index, indicating SMBs with an IoT vision are in many cases more “intelligent” than large enterprises.

“When we launched the Intelligent Enterprise Index three years ago, many enterprises were trying to understand where and how IoT solutions could be best applied within their unique business environments,” said Drew Ehlers, Global Futurist, Zebra Technologies. 

“We now see more urgency to improve operational visibility and facilitate the delivery of actionable intelligence all the way to the edge of the enterprise. I believe that is why enterprises are now demonstrating a much greater commitment to executing their IoT plans and why we’ll likely see a surge in investments over the next few years.”

“With the continued adoption of mobility and IoT, the edge of enterprise operations is becoming increasingly connected. This unprecedented, growing level of connectivity is generating vast amounts of actionable data about processes and assets that can be leveraged to transform workflows to improve business performance and outcomes. As a breakthrough data intelligence platform that combines IoT end-point connectivity, configuration management, data transport, data storage, analytics and machine learning into one platform, Zebra’s Savanna turns raw data into actionable insights for businesses to deliver new levels of service, productivity and profitability,” said Tom Christodoulou, Regional Director of Australia and New Zealand, Zebra Technologies.  

Key findings include:

  • The pace of IoT adoption is picking up, leading to increasingly greater intelligence levels. The cumulative Intelligent Enterprise Index score continues to grow as more companies move from exploratory to deployment phases of their journeys, with the 2019 score topping out at 61.5 points. This represents a nearly 6-point increase from 2018, driven largely by the increased “intelligence” gains of retail and transportation & logistics (T&L) organisations. It is also a +9-point gain from 2017, the first year the Index was conducted. Further, 74 per cent of APAC organisations have an IOT vision with plans to execute it, of which 55 per cent have already implemented while up to 43 per cent are planning to implement it within the next 1-3 years.
  • Continued growth in IoT solutions and other data-driven technology platform investments. In 2019, the average global enterprise spend was $6.4 million, representing a 39 per cent year-over-year increase. Eighty-six per cent of enterprises expect this number to grow in the next 1-2 years, with over half of respondents expecting to increase their investments by 21-50+ per cent. Up to 92 per cent of APAC organisations expect their investments in IOT and mobility to increase over the next 1-2 years.
  • Intelligence-driven solution deployments have broadened quite significantly. Forty-six percent of study respondents are currently implementing their IoT solutions on a company-wide level, an increase from 38 per cent in 2018. Another 32 per cent expect to soon move toward regional deployments. 
  • With security a top priority, enterprises are committing more resources to continuous data system monitoring. Sixty-two (62) per cent of enterprises are now constantly monitoring their IoT security to ensure system integrity and data privacy. That is a 4-percentage point gain year-over-year and a 13-percentage point increase from 2017. At that time, only 49 per cent had a constant security monitoring protocol with 47 per cent periodically monitoring their systems.
    • Up to 70 per cent of APAC organisations are constantly monitoring their IOT security to ensure that their system integrity and privacy are not compromised.
  • Enterprises are shifting to a single partner “intelligent” solution ecosystem. Nearly half (49 percent) of study respondents indicate they now rely on a single strategic partner to manage their entire “intelligence” solution, including components and services provided by third parties.
  • Surveyed SMBs score higher on the Index than large companies (64.5 points vs 61.5 points). This higher score is based on findings such as SMB respondents indicating their enterprises are more likely to have an IoT vision and are executing on the plan (69 per cent vs 62 per cent).

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